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First time jerky maker

crankbait09

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Hello all. I took a shot at making jerky for the first time tonight.

My dehydrator of choice is the Nesco FD-75A
My meat has been sitting in marinade for about 48 hours.
After draining/dabbing off the excess marinade, I have placed the meat in the dehydrator. It dried for about 4 hours. I was struggling to get the temp above 130 degrees, but the softness/chewiness was where I wanted it. So I removed it from the dehydrator and placed it in the oven on 300 for about 10 minutes to bring it up to a temp of around 175-180.

Now I am nervous about it. Although it's up to temp, when I squeeze the jerky with my fingers, the smallest amount of oil/moisture comes out. I read if there is ANY moisture, it's not done. I have had a number of pieces already, and although it tastes good and I like how it turned out, now the moisture has me concerned. Especially after I ate some.

I know everyone is different, but how much does it take for one to get sick from eating jerky in said condition? Should I be worrying?

I read that you can pre-cook or post-cook the jerky to get it to the temp you want. which I did, obviously the post method.

Can anyone ease my mind or do I need to start pumping my stomach? sigh, I thought I was doing everything right

I would like to add. I just placed the jerky back in the oven, again. 300 degrees for like 10 minutes. this time there seemed to me a lot of oil or marinade on the baking sheet. and it was sizzling. so obviously it is still cooking out the moisture. but at this point, they are becoming close to burnt sticks.
 
Last edited:

daveomak

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What you think is moisture, could be fat... Fat will turn rancid if you store the jerky at room temp for a couple of weeks...
Once the jerky is at 170 ish, it's good to go... All the bad bacteria is done in...
You did everything correct...
 

crankbait09

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phew. thank you for responding. This jerky certainly won't last long enough to go bad :)

My next question is, how do you determine if it's the "bad moisture" or the fat that I'm seeing?

For this first attempt I used the eye of round filets, that are pre-cut at the grocery store. I then cot those in to 1/4" strips. I might try a 3 pound eye of round, and have the butcher slie it for me (if they will). I really don't think it matters if it's a flat sheet or the strips like I made. Personal preference I would assume.

Taste was certainly there.
I think the next batch will pre-bake at 300, then dehydrate. See how that turns out.
 

crankbait09

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that's a beautiful article. thank you!

side note......when making jerky from ground beef, correct me if I'm wrong. But you marinade the meat, then once the marinating period is complete, you then put the meat in to a jerky gun, and make squirt out strips. Is that right? I might try ground beef next time too
 

crankbait09

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I would like to add one final question to this thread.
I placed a thermometer in to my dehydrator with zero contents inside, just the racks. I turned the temp up to 166 and let it go for a couple hours. Final reading of thermometer was 137. So with the dehydrator not getting up to 165 as it states, I found I can't rely on the 165. So pre-cooking to get temps to 160 is a must, then place it in the dehydrator for as long as it takes for desired texture to be met.

I am in the process of returning it, and getting another in hopes of a more accurate temperature reading. Not sure if it really matters at this point. Just means it will take longer to cook.
 

daveomak

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The article says to NOT marinate ground meat jerky...

Jerky made from ground meat is not marinated, but is mixed with dry spices and cure before forming into strips. Research has shown that the spice and cure (nitrite) in marinades and dry seasoning mixes will help in the destruction of pathogens ..


Did you use an accurate, calibrated thermometer to check the final temperature of your dehydrator ??? That's a big deal... Gotta know what the real temp is....
 

crankbait09

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I was using marinade interchangeably, I shouldn't have done that. Meaning, I see to not use a marinade for ground beef, but to use the dry spices. But once you mix the dry spices, I'd place it back in the fridge to sit till I was ready to use. I was referring to that time as marinating. I see that is two totally different ways to do jerky. (note taken)

As for the thermometer. It is an accurate thermometer. Tested in ice water.
 

daveomak

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OK... My error....
Anywho, sounds like the thermostat on the dehydrator is not working too well...
I think you want the dehydrator to operate at +/- 140F minimum.... Not sure about that... but that temp would keep the pathogens under control during the drying process...
 

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